Populate Your RUST Server with these 6 Tips

Populate Your RUST Server

How do I get more players on my RUST server?

If you’re asking yourself the above question, you’re in the right spot! Setting up and hosting a RUST server can take a matter of minutes and cost little more than a latte each month. However, knowing how to populate your RUST server, not to mention building up a player base that sustains itself and one that stays vibrant, can be time consuming and challenging. Sometimes your server’s player base can come with luck, but most of the time it requires little bit of strategy, guided maintenance and a dash of love.

So how do you populate your RUST server?

Read through this list of 6 tips to get more people on your RUST Server.

1 – Avoid admin abuse & accusations at all cost

This is incredibly important as it’s one of the top reasons why players abandon their servers. New players who have been burned by admin abuse are very vocal about the bad experiences they’ve had on previous servers. For new players, there’s no clear indicator that the server they’ve just joined will be prone to having abusive admins, so take the extra time needed to indicate in your server description, advertisements, website, and forums that your server is the opposite. Good admins are hyper-sensitive to these conversations as they strike up and address them head on. The other side of the coin is to absolutely avoid abusing the admin powers. Watch a few minutes of this video on YouTube to get a clear picture of what admin abuse is in RUST.

2 – Server stability, speed and availability

Ensuring that your server is stable, maintains a low ping and latency, and is available 99.9% of the time is critical to sustaining a player base. Currently, there are few game server hosts that don’t offer some method of down-time watch or protocols for restarting the system automatically. If your game server host doesn’t provide these tools, you should first request them and let them know how important they are to you. In lieu of this, you can use a 3rd party services, such as Pingdom and IFTTT to help you build monitoring tools and notifications. Server speeds are often solvable by throwing money at your configurations and hardware, however this isn’t always an option for admins. Make sure you’re hosting within your means and that the server is rated for the load you’re putting on it. In regards to availability, RUST and the majority of game server hosts do not have an automated way built in to update the server to the latest releases. Steam will automatically update player’s client side code, causing a rift between the game server’s hosted code. This can prevent your server from being available to your player base, so it’s important to stay on top of news regarding the latest releases.

3 – Active, friendly and responsive administrators

For many years now, the state of RUST servers has been much like the Wild West. You can find thousands of official servers, community servers and modded servers without any form of authority. However, you can also find abusive players, hackers and exploiters. These players are toxic and eat away at the player bases they come in contact with. Imagine dropping all of your spare time into the game, only to have all your effort blown away by one of these players. Again, it’s critical to have active administrators available as much as possible. If you can, provide a way for the players to notify the admins outside of the game. Setup an email, a twitter, or forum for them to use. Hosting and being an active administrator is hard work, but it can pay off in the end.

4 – Establish and organize a small group of regulars

If you’re starting your server up from scratch or looking to revitalize a server you’ve been running for awhile, it helps to establish a small group of 5-10 people who are like minded and willing to play as regulars. Use player forums, chat rooms, or try merging with other servers that look dead. Most often you’ll find the admins are the single players on the server roster. Take a few minutes and talk with them. See if it’d be a good connection and extend an offer to see if you can work something out. After all, most people are looking to play with others. It’s important to have a similar play schedule as well, as having more people on your server helps in attracting others. It doesn’t take many players to have a good time, especially if you’re playing with high quality people!

5 – Build a community, a RUST community

This seems like a no-brainer, right? Though, have you ever built a community before? It takes a lot of work and relentless dedication. It’s really no easy task and there are life lessons that can be used to help you build and sustain your game server. Treat people with respect, help out when and where you can, promote others to do the same, and don’t forget to have fun doing it. Setting up weekly events, contests, and giveaways for your players can go a long way and create some buzz. Figure out creative ways to get your players to share and talk about your their server with their friends and communities and reward them for doing so.

You want to be inviting to newer players and veterans alike. Be sure to communicate with your players and respond to them in the server chat and when possible through verbal communications in game. Consider setting up a voice server to sit along side your game server.

6 – Sign up for server listing websites

This last tip’s mileage will vary, however it can be helpful in getting your name out there. You can also use these sites as a way to see how other servers are broadcasting and marketing themselves. Use these sites to submit your server, advertise on their communities, respond to forum posts and comment systems. Also, remember to check in on them from time to time.

Know of something we didn’t cover?

We’d love for you to post them in the comments, so all the players and admins out there looking to help their servers can share and use this post for themselves. Thanks!

4 Comments on “Populate Your RUST Server with these 6 Tips”

  1. Avoid admin abuse is indeed the Nr1 reason i wont rejoin a server. I have a server of my own and i choose very carefully my admins. This is something all of the server owners should do and stop giving admin right to anyone just to keep them in the server.
    If you like have a look at my Rust server hosting comparison at http://nazeboo.com/

  2. I have been running servers for years. My 2014 and 15 servers were so easy to populate. I never abuse, I keep things friendly, I keep things vanilla, and I do it all on my own. I started back up in late 2016 with my servers, but I can’t seem to get anyone to join. I advertise everywhere and it does literally nothing. I adhere to all rules of being a good server owner, but nothing works. It frustrates me to no end that I do all this to try to help the whole community but no one even notices me. I love running servers, and I love the people, but it’s so very infuriating that I mean so little in the world that I cannot simply rake in a few people to play Rust with.

    1. I understand your frustration entirely, I’ve been there before. There’s thousands of servers out there for a game that is still in alpha stages of development, it’s highly, highly competitive. In addition to this, you’re competing with servers that are “double dipping” in the game listing between both “official” and “community” categories. These servers, for the most part, are wild to the core. Many players want that lawless land to exist.

      However, for the rest of us applying our own custom rule sets and modifications, we have to be focused on a specific niche. There has to be an offering that appeals to enough of the active player base and not only that, it needs to make your server audience do a few things.

      • Advocate your server to their friends, groups, the rest of the world
      • Develop some form loyalty to your server so they return
      • Have a sense of community, where their input can be heard

      If you focus on these three items, you can get small groups of regulars coming back to your server. Similar to how it takes money to make money, it takes numbers to build numbers. It IS extremely challenging. Don’t be afraid to talk with those people on your server. Ask them how they found you, what attracted them, and what could be better? There’s many great people out there and many utter assholes, who don’t deserve the time of day.

      Your self worth however isn’t connected to your ability to run a game server. You clearly have been trying. Persistence means a lot. I can only assume you carry a wealth of knowledge at this point around server administration in RUST, that is also applicable in many other areas. There are many ways to success, the three items I’ve mentioned above is in part how I’ve approached building a server population. It doesn’t mean it’s the right way, nor the wrong way, and further more the only way. If you’re interested, we should connect and exchange notes and ideas. It’s valuable to connect with other admins, it’s one of the critical pieces that I didn’t put into this post and it too is another tactic to take, because if you’ve focused on a particular niche in the game, that means there’s people that will join your server at some point who don’t fit, but you may be able to recommend them to a partner, and vice versa.

Leave a Reply